Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria have vowed to continue with the protest to demand for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky despite the clampdown order by the police.

The movement said the order by the Inspector-General of Police to arrest all leaders of the movement and dismantle their structures across the states was dead on arrival and cannot stand.

The group disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja in a statement signed by spokesperson for the movement, Ibrahim Musa.

IMN noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had cultivated the habit of denying them space to conduct their religious activities at the commencement of the first month of the Islamic calendar (Muharram) when all Shi'ites are expected to converge.

Musa noted that the latest order by the police had confirmed that the government was bent on scuttling this year’s Muharram religious mourning obligations.

The statement reads, “It is on record that the Buhari administration since its inception in 2015, has always used the commencement of the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, to persecute, kill and maim us and deny us any space to conduct our religious rites expected of all Shi’ites. 

“This recent order given on the eve of Muharram underlines the evil intention of the government to continue this pattern of attack against Shia Islam and prevent us from conducting our religious obligation.”

The sect pointed out that Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has engaged the services of vigilante groups to descend on the IMN during Ashura mourning session in Kaduna.

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